Published Mar 01, 2006Mere words are inadequate for describing the spectacle of Running Scared. Its constant parade of racial slurs, rampant violence and sheer kooky luridness must be seen to be believed and even then you'll have trouble buying the constant meshugaas that spew forth from the screen.
The whole thing starts with a clever conceit the criminal next door (Paul Walker) has to recover a stolen gun when a neighbour boy steals it and plugs his father. But the ensuing round robin of weapon transference, in which the gun winds up in the hands of a prostitute, a mack daddy pimp, a homeless junkie and various other stereotypes, is a series of coincidences unlikely enough to make your head explode.
To mix things up, director Wayne Kramer starts passing around the kid as well, who winds up, so help me God, with a pair of paedophile serial killers, and the scene where Walker's wife extricates him is a high point in tabloid self-righteousness. Plus, the bad ethnic imitations pile up until they burst through the roof that the Russian mob is mixed up in this madness is par for the course (I can't remember the last time I heard the words "Brighton Beach" this many times in one movie), but everybody from the hissing junkie to the Hispanic mechanic has a tic they flog mercilessly.
You know you absolutely shouldn't be watching this thing, but you can't tear your eyes away pleasures don't come guiltier than this threadbare monstrosity, but it's just crazy enough to be one. And if you've been pining for movie where the hero is tortured by hockey players, your number just came up. (Alliance Atlantis)